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  • Policy proposal
  • 22nd Nov 2022

Putting health in the spotlight: quantifying the impact of obesity prevention policies in the UK

For children and adults in the UK, unhealthy food is in the spotlight everywhere they go. Online, on our TVs, and in our supermarkets, promotions and advertising put calorie-dense  and unhealthy food centre stage. The promotion, affordability, availability and consumption of such foods are among the main drivers of obesity, one of our most serious public health challenges,  threatening the health and wellbeing of adults and children alike.

This report examines the impact of four obesity prevention policies either recently implemented by the UK government, or scheduled for future implementation, finding that their combined net benefit to the UK over 25 years is estimated to be over £76 billion. These policies work to push unhealthy food out of the spotlight and redress the balance with the healthy food that children need to thrive.

This report was prepared by Niall Daly, Sarah Merriam, and Dr. Helen Brown at the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), Lauren Bowes Byatt at Nesta, and Hugo Harper and Dr. Filippo Bianchi (both Nesta and BIT). We would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. David Halpen (BIT), Caroline Cerny (BiteBack), Lydia Leon (Nesta), Impact on Urban Health, and FrameWorks UK for their review and contributions to previous versions of this report. The report was funded by Impact on Urban Health.

Download the report